Man charged in Houston death, body in burned home

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Associated Press

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 4:03 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — An ex-neighbor has been charged in the December fatal stabbing of a 72-year-old woman whose body was found in her burned Houston-area home.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office says 21-year-old Ethen Drake has been charged with capital murder. Investigators believe he stole cash and drugs from Caroline Stagner then set her house on fire.

Stagner's body was discovered Dec. 13 by firefighters. Authorities say the victim's discarded pill bottles labeled with her name were discovered about three blocks from her home and near where the suspect's parents still live.

An affidavit released Tuesday says Drake was arrested in Gladewater where he faces similar charges of taking pills and money from a home and setting it on fire. He was arrested last month and faces being returned to Harris County.

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